Following a nasty finger injury and subsequent surgery for Khairul Idham Pawi, the Petronas Sprinta Racing team has called-up Mattia Pasini to replace the Malaysian during his predicted recovery of six to eight weeks.

Left without a full-time ride, Pasini impressed with fourth as an injury stand-in for the Pons Kalex team in COTA but had a harder time on an Angel Nieto-run KTM chassis in place of Jake Dixon at Jerez, qualifying 24th and failing to finish the race.

However the 33-year-old Italian, who has twelve grand prix victories to his name, will now return to Kalex for his Petronas debut during Tuesday's Jerez test, prior to the French Grand Prix at Le Mans from May 17-19.

"It is never easy to replace an injured rider, but I'm very happy about this opportunity because this is a team that I have been following for some time," said Pasini. "I'm proud to be part of this project for a few races and I will do my best to get the results that this team deserve. We have to work hard, but if there is a team in which you can work, it’s this one. I can't wait to get things underway tomorrow with the test in Jerez, so that I can get into good shape for Le Mans.

"The Kalex is a bike that I know very well and at Austin - having hardly tested with it - I almost got on the podium. I know the team a little and the people I will be working with and this is another positive point. The potential is very high, but we have to start from scratch and give our all. I want to thank Petronas Sprinta Racing, Razlan Razali and Johan Stigefelt for this opportunity."

Pasini was rumoured to be a possible contender should Petronas have been able to secure a second Moto2 grid place for this season.

"We are happy to announce that the rider chosen is Mattia Pasini. We believe he is the best candidate to replace Khairul Idham Pawi for several reasons: Firstly, he is an experienced and competitive rider. Secondly, he can contribute by helping to develop our Moto2 bike," said team principal Razlan Razali.

"Finally, I would like to emphasise that, although I would like to have been able to field a Malaysian rider in this role, at this moment we do not have any who are both available and competitive in Moto2.

"The most important thing now is to have a rider who is quick and has experience, for the motivation of the team in general. We believe that Pasini can provide us with that. I would also like to take this opportunity to give KIP encouragement and wish him a quick and successful recovery. His estimated return is the Catalan Grand Prix."

"We had the opportunity to bring in Mattia Pasini until Khairul Idham Pawi has recovered and we did not want to let it pass us by," added team director Johan Stigefelt.

Pawi suffered a 'Grade 3 open fracture' of the little finger on his right hand during Friday practice at Jerez.

 

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